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Teachers often support families in crisis - how can we support them?

It often falls to teachers to support families in crisis, but teachers don’t always have the skills they need to deal with these situations. One teacher describes how enrolling on a counselling course made a real difference. 

The Secret Teacher (part of a series published in the Guardian) commented: "First and foremost, teachers use counselling skills every day. We don’t know we’re doing it and don’t realise there’s a name for much of what we do, so we just do our thing in an ad-hoc manner. For example, when we sit down with a child after an incident and discuss their behaviour, we often look at what happened in the lead up to the event to cause it, and how the child could respond differently next time: that’s a basic form of cognitive behavioural therapy."

"Every theory and new approach I learned about had lightbulbs popping in my head. There were so many parallels with teaching, and so much potential for applying this in the classroom."

After applying what they had learned in their own classroom, they discovered how much of a difference this kind of training could make in both the lives of teachers, pupils and their families: "If we could – through teacher training providers and school in-service training days – train teaching staff, student teachers and support staff in a therapeutic approach (not training them as counsellors), we may achieve some early intervention success and avert some crises. Perhaps it is time that the government, local authorities and initial teacher training providers took note; a little investment in basic training at this level could save thousands further down the line."

You can read the full article, which is part of the Secret Teacher on the Guardian here.

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